Tropical Storm Claudette becomes third named storm of the season

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2021

Nevertheless, the storm was expected to produce heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding across coastal MS and Alabama, and the far western Florida Panhandle through the afternoon.

The storm also dumped flooding rains north of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana and along the MS coast, inundating streets and, in some areas, pushing water into homes.

A flash flood watch has been posted for many areas along the central Gulf Coast.

At 7 a.m. on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that the storm was around 30 miles (48 kilometres) north of New Orleans with sustained winds of 45 mi/h (72 km/h).

"As the system continues to lift northeast through the weekend, heavy rain will occur across central Alabama, central and northern Georgia, and into the Piedmont of the Carolinas, resulting in rainfall totals of 76-152 mm, with isolated maximum amounts of 203 mm".

As well, the combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. Forecasters were warning of the potential for flash flooding and mudslides.

Thursday, a broad area of low pressure near the Bay of Campeche is expected to move northward. A slow northeast motion across the southeastern United States is likely after landfall through the weekend.

Business owners across the Gulf Coast, from restaurateurs to swamp boat operators, had anticipated an influx of tourist cash after a year of lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tropical system may cause risky surf conditions and flooding of roads and campgrounds, some of which have seen mandatory evacuations and cancellations.

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed that its Climate Prediction Center was forecasting another above normal Atlantic hurricane season. Its maximum sustained winds were clocked at 30 miles per hour (45 kph), and it was moving north at 21 miles per hour (33 kph).

To prepare for a possible tropical storm, experts recommend restocking disaster kits to have medications and at least seven days of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person and pet You can also prepare your yard by removing loose items, clearing loose and clogged rain gutters, and trimming trees and shrubs.

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